Monday, December 31, 2012

After Christmas Sales Haul Myer


This Christmas I was fortunate enough to receive Gift Cards and I LOVE Gift Cards. How great are they? (That's a rhetorical question) I always put off personal purchases such as new makeup or clothes until I absolutely have to buy them, not just because it's always crazy and stressful at the shops every time I try and go, but also I tend to feel a sense of guilt when I buy those things for myself. So this year, armed with only Gift Cards and the intention to break my sense of guilt, my family of 4 braved the after Christmas sales and I picked up a few much needed items/bargains that I am super pleased with and not at all feeling guilty about :)



I picked up this Nude by Nature Brush Kit for $24.95 (down from $29.95) I did purchase an imitation MAC brush set off Ebay 3 years ago, but I only have 2 brushes from them left, both of which are for my eyebrows...

I will do a full review and a makeup look using these brushes on my blog and YouTube channel shortly, so stay tuned for that!



I also purchased this Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in shade 95 Creme Brulee. I first heard about this particular shade on It'sJudyTime (YouTube her!) and since I don't really have a nude tone lip colour I thought this would be fun to test. 

All my other lipsticks have always been on sale, and well under $10 so this was a splurge for me, even though it was $15.36 (down from $21.95!) Again I will do a look with this lip butter soon.



I had just about run my black eye liner pencil to the ground, so one of the first items I was on the hunt for was a new black pencil. I purchased this NATIO Long Lasting Eye Liner in Black for $11.21 (down from $14.95). It's waterproof and has a built-in smudger.



The last item on my list (but the first that I actually picked up) is Burt's Bees Beauty Box. It was on clearance from $29.95 down to $14.00! Bargain! It comes with Sensitive Eye Cream, Lip Balm and Facial Cleansing Towelettes. I've heard really good reviews on the Burt's Bee Lip Balm from some YouTube Beauty Guru's, so I am excited to do my own review and let you all know if it's worthy of the hype.

I saved a total of $15.18 :) and only spent $66.08! With the money I saved, I then went to Target and bought a much needed white tank top for $12 using the remainder on my Gift Card.

I'm also using my new Canon Camera I got from my Fiancee Luke for the photos in this post :) It's such a great little camera! 

Did you snag yourself a bargain with the after Christmas Sales?

It's scary how fast this year has gone by. This is my last post for 2012!

See you in the new year :)

Until Next Time,


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Banana Choc Chip Cookies

I don't usually post on Saturdays but I really wanted to share this recipe with you all that I tried for the first time, and it tasted AMAZINNGG!


It does contain butter, chocolate annnnd sugar BUT it's not something I am eating everyday so just be treat smart obviously :)

Ingredients


1/2 Cup of Butter: Softened
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2-3 Ripe Bananas: Mashed
2 Cups of SR Flour
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
1/4 Cup of Choc Chips
1/2 Cup of Rolled Oats: I just used Uncle Toby's Sachets (2)

Method

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla essence, rolled oats and bananas. Then slowly add the flour until all well combined. I used an electric mixer for this, just to get a smoother consistency.

Then add the choc chips. I use Cadbury's Choc Chips purely for preference and they don't lose shape whilst cooking. Remember the choc chips only need a light stirring through at the end.




The mixture was a bit sticky, so I didn't have high hopes for it coming off the baking paper, but it did! I suggest that if the mixture gets too sticky, to add more flour.


I did two batches, and made around 30 cookies!  I have a fan forced oven and preheated it for 5 minutes. I then cooked the cookies for 10-15 until the top was golden in colour.

The cookies have a fluffy texture as I made them a little high in height, however they are still of cookie texture...and most importantly taste awesome!


There you have it! Banana Choc Chip Cookies that only took 10 mins to prepare, 10-15 to cook and much quicker to eat!
 

Do you like when I put recipes up on the blog? I know it's not budget related but they are cost effective ;)

Until Next Time,







Friday, December 28, 2012

It's My Birthday!

Yes, it's my birthday! Today marks the 23rd Anniversary of my birth. 
I was very spoilt by my little family to say the least! I was a bit lucky and got to open my presents last night, which was great as usually our house is full of noise with our 3.5 year old daughter and almost 2 month old son, so Luke and I got some quiet adult time and I felt like a little kid with all my presents!

Not only did I get an amazing new camera, but also a tripod to go along with it :) I'm a super lucky gal. I wasn't sure how I was going to go about it, but my plan for next year was to start doing YouTube videos using my Iphone 4S. 

Now I can do outfit posts and regular weekly YouTube videos with my snazzy new setup.



Luke and I have discussed and agreed that we really have to start taking better care of our health. After having my son Jett, I just don't feel...awesome about my eating habits and lack of exercise. So as a bonus gift, Luke bought me some very snazzy scales that not only show your weight, age and height, but also measure your fat percentage as well as your hydration levels (which TBH I haven't figured out quite what that means yet.) 

It may sound like a strange gift, but I LOVE them and I think it's a really thoughtful idea, as getting healthy and back into shape is something I constantly whinge talk about doing..but never do, and don't worry, for all you mummy's or even just time strapped people out there, I will document my progress and maybe we could work on our health together! Team work!

I will admit, I wasn't super excited about becoming another year older (sadly, that seems inevitable) but I do admit that I enjoy the maturity that comes with experience and ultimately...age. 
This year I have grown so much as a mum and overall as a woman, I feel like I'm getting to know myself on a newer..more mature level, and so far I like me haha. 

I hope you'll continue to follow me on my journey :)

Here's to being 23 years old! And to all the great quality pictures I will be taking from now on!

Until Next Time,


Monday, December 24, 2012

Wardrobe Basics

I'm starting 2013 with the absolute intention to get healthy, fit and fabulous! 
I have the intention to start Vlogging (video blogging) everyday that's possible, my journey from frumpy and fashionably..challenged, to healthy and fabulously fashionable..or close to.

(My non-exciting wardrobe doors)

Here's my Wardrobe Basic Buys:

On the Top

Plain & Bold Print Scarf: I learnt to love scarves when I moved to much colder climates. I have a few different types: cotton/ wool, plain/ printed.
Tank Top: A basic tank top paired with a blouse can make you look effortlessly stylish.
Over-sized T-Shirt: Comfort factor should always be considered.
Blouse: simple, affordable and easy to dress up a pair of jeans or slacks.
Over-sized Jumper: Not just for those lazy days at home! Pair with some sneakers and jeans
Blazer: I recently bought my first blazer, and I have to say, it turns the humble plain t-shirt and jeans combo into a stylish ensemble!




On the Bottom

Dark Wash Denim Jeans: They're a classic must have for a reason. Not only do they compliment all body shapes, they compliment just about any outfit!
Leggings: nothing more to be said really...except, they're NOT pants, but more a complimenting piece of item WHEN used with something like a dress, shorts or skirt.
LBD (Little Black Dress): With some accessories, you can really turn up the WOW factor.



Accessorizes

Nude & Black Pumps: I am more a flats type gal, but I do love my trusty black pumps.
Flats: I am in love with flats! They're my go-to choice for footwear
Boots: Not limited to Cowboys anymore, these babies are comfortable and fashionable
Black & Nude Clutch: Simple, complimentary and stylish
Nude & Black Bag: These colours will work with any outfit.


That's a wrap!

 What is your 2013 intentions? 

Until Next Time



Friday, December 21, 2012

It's the End of The World!

Well...I haven't left my house today, so maybe we were just REALLY lucky and survived...Oh...no my neighbours alive too...so...nope, not the end of the world today.

I was going to do a Fashion Fix Friday post, a less 'doomsday' post but, I thought I'd address the 'END OF THE WORLD' first. I did watch a rather, fear-instilling program last night about how we [the earth and it's contents] may possibly perish in 75 years when a neutron stars gravitational pull will ultimately tear us apart....um...righto then!


I had the most doomsday inspired dream after watching the program and as a result, look as awesome as I feel tired...gah! I honestly had no plans for my last day on Earth sadly. I don't have an underground bunker with a great food supply (although my pantry is well stocked!) I didn't call my loved ones and tell them it was great knowing them (although I'm fairly slack on that usually too.)

I spent my 'possibly last day on Earth' with a huge headache, laying in bed wondering why we have Wisdom teeth! Oh..I did go out at some point and do a spot of grocery shopping :) Yes, I'm afraid I wasn't too spontaneous with my last day.



How are you spending your 'last day'? There are so many theories on whether it is in fact our last day on Earth, or whether we should be expecting something major...but not catastrophic..well, whatever the case, I have a load of laundry and a hungry baby to attend to, and after that..it's lunch time!

If we are all still here next Friday, it's my Birthday! And I would love to celebrate by doing my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY! Conditions will be posted next week, so make sure you check back in! Here's to being another year older and wiser ;)

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How to reuse a Nappy Box!

From this...to this!


 I love the idea of reusing things in the household, from a milk carton to a nappy box :) Especially since we buy nappies quite often, it's always nice to stretch our dollar even further and recycle!

This little project is quite fun, doesn't take long and is very inexpensive. Lily was my little helper and we had a great time thinking up different ways we could reuse a humble nappy box. We decided to make a Book Box for all her nap/nightime books in her room.

Here's how we got our craft on!

1/ Cut the flaps off the top of the box


2/ Wrap the box! You can use book cover with different patterns, pictures or colours on it OR you can use any gift wrap paper. You don't even have to wrap the box really, but it does look much nicer at the end when wrapped (in my opinion)


3/ Decide where to place the box! Yes..that is really all it takes! I found wrapping the box with gift wrap to be a little tedious but it was a fun project to do with Lily, and she loves that she has a special place for her stories that she helped make.


I decided on putting it atop of her chest of drawers. These drawers are right beside her bed, which makes choosing a story and putting it back quite easy :) I'm thinking of making some cut-out letters reading : BOOKS to put on the front of the box also, just for a little more decoration of course.


There you have it! That's just ONE way of reusing a nappy box. Here's a few other ideas:

- belt storage box
- scarf storage box
- storage box for seasonal clothing
- decorate and make into toys for the kiddies! A little craft and you've transformed a humble box into a pretend stove or a rocket...or a firetruck...or...well anything really!

A little imagination, a little craft and a lot of fun can transform a nappy box into just about anything!

Do you have something that you love to recycle? What's a project you'd love to try?

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2013 Planner

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to buy my new planner!! Yes...that's what my life is like. So with 2013 fast approaching, it was no different this year to get excited, get shopping and get my new planner!

I have a planner for a number of reasons. I think becoming a mum in 2009 made me realize just how much I can utilize my time much more...efficiently, and with a planner it's done so much more effectively :)


The black planner was my very basic Kmart $6 buy that served its job very well. That being said...I'm SO excited to have a hot pink planner for 2013!! WOO! 


 It's not as obvious in the above photo but my new planner (the hot pink one..in case you forgot) is more then 3 times the thickness of this years one. It has a section in each months tab for a budget :) This is binder feels like it was made just for me and my OCD needs.


One of the most used parts of my planner is always the year view calendar. The hardest thing I find about it, is trying to read my own writing, after I have had to smoosh all the letter into the little spaces it gives you. Luckily I am fairly aware of what each special date represents ;)

Well that's 2013 all planned out...not really...but at least I have the planner! I am going to undertake some organization goals starting in January, along with Lily beginning preschool (I'm not going to cry..I'm not going to cry)...it's going to be a productive year!

Are you a day planner type person? Or do you just take each day as it comes? 

Until Next Time


Monday, December 17, 2012

Snowball Debt Effect

Seeing as this blog is called Skinny Budget I want to start sharing with you all, more posts on just how I budget. Whether it's for something in particular or just in life, I LOVE to budget! 
I want to reduce our debt to as minimal as possible...here's how I go about it :)

 I first came across the 'Snowball Debt Effect' whilst searching the net for alternative debt payment options, other then consolidating all our 'debt' with one company. I am by no means a professional financial adviser, but I am the budget person in our household and this certainly works for us :)

In 2011 we were using for a short period, a company that took care of our finances for us (not an easy feat when I am a bit of a control freak.) It wasn't the relief I thought it'd be, and if anything I became more stressed and irritated having to call the company constantly, inquiring on why companies were still calling me asking when a certain bill would be paid etc etc.

Having taken back control of our finances, I decided I wanted a system in place that would make bill paying and debt reduction, not only stress free but also beneficial to us. I.e Savings!!

So I came across the Snowball Debt Reduction Plan. You can Google it for a much more informative explanation but the way I have incorporated it into our household is as follows:

1/ I listed ALL the debt we have. I included the interest rate for each debt along with the frequency and amount of each payment for that debt

2/ I then listed each debt by the amount owing, starting from lowest amount owing to highest.

3/ The easiest way for me to keep track of everything, without it seemingly too over whelming was to draw up my own Spreadsheet (I used Excel). This way I can alter the budget should I need to, then print it out and stick it in my Home Management Binder (you can check out my post on this by clicking here).

4/ I've become SO aware of when I am failing at our budget keeping, such as with using our cheque account and not cash when Grocery Shopping!! I meal plan for a fortnight, and ultimately budget for that fortnights meals, HOWEVER because I am using our cheque account, I will often add items into the cart that weren't on the list. Making $200 quickly become $225. I am trialling out using a cash wallet envelope and I've come across SO many gorgeous ones for sale on Etsy BUUUTTT to save funds, I am using an old envelope style wallet I already have :)

I will do a review on that system very soon!

That's really all I do! It works for us so for now that's what we will be using :) Whether you have a family or you just want to get on top of your credit cards (or any other debt!) I'd recommend this system!



Hopefully you found this somewhat helpful :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mini Haul Post

I recently had one of my close friends Nicole come to stay with us for a few days on holiday, and whilst she was here we made the most of our time with chats, movies..and of course, a spot of shopping! We both share a lack of navigation skills, which made shopping in a large shopping centre...a little chaotic, but nothing short of entertaining.

Since having my son Jett almost 6 weeks ago, I knew I wanted to get back into shape and change my personal style, in a realistic timeframe. I've been constantly keeping an eye out for inspiration and I knew that one of the first things I wanted to purchase was a black blazer.

Read on for all the information on my haul!

Sorry for the dodgy photo of the blazer :/ It was a little impromptu photo session while Jett was asleep for 5 minutes (poor bubba has the flu). The blazer was reduced from $29.95 down to $19.95, it's made by a brand called Avacado.


I got 2 (super stretchy) singlets from a pop-up type store for $3 each! The brand is Venus Body & Soul. I purchased them for when I start going on my walks/jogs again.


This scarf was initally marked at $30+ dollars but was down to $3! I was super impressed needless to say. Whilst I wasn't a huge fan on the colour selection (most were random patterns) I think this blue will work perfect with my new blazer ;)


I think I may have an addiction to buying nail polish! If that's the case, I really need to start wearing it more often. I have no idea what the colours are called on these two unfortunately, but I'm super impressed with Tips&Toes colour options! I picked up both of these for $2 each!


I've been wearing this colour all week! It's called Black with Envy from Revlon. The quality of this nail polish is amazing, annnddd it only cost $2!


Camisole Set $6! It's SO comfy! I got mine in aqua/green stripes

 

My new glasses case. It's a black and white Peacock print $3

 

Lastly, but certainly one of the more impressive bargain buys is my $15 VS Sassoon Hairdryer from Big W that I purchased. My old VS Sassoon H/D lasted me just on 6 years until I dropped it one too many times this year :( There were 3 colour choices with this, but I can't remember the other one apart from red 


I also purchased my day planner for 2013 which I will be doing a review about on Monday next week, it's very pink, organized and budget planner friendly....I'm in love! Along with my day planner, I picked up a few other organizational items to help with the planning of our 2013 wedding. Needless to say, I've been super busy!

Are you a day planner type person? Or do you just play it week by week? Let me know via the comments below or on Twitter :)

Until Next Time


Thursday, December 13, 2012

No More MIA!

Just as I think I'm getting the hang of having a new baby and a toddler...BAM! We all get the flu and routine goes out the window :( ...sigh* We are all on the mend now but sadly it's meant that a lot of things have had to take a back seat, while we all try and recover.
 
I discovered 'baby schedules' whilst I dream about being healthy again and having 2 healthy, non-agitated children, and although Jett is only 5.5 weeks old, apparently it is still plausible to maintain a baby and toddler schedule...though right now, now I like to think I am a fairly organized person but..I have my doubts on how effective a schedule based on a baby would be at this point in our household. 
 
Stranger things have happened I'm sure.

The one thing that has kept me sane (and a bit excited) is the fact it's almost Christmas! As we aren't able to celebrate with our family up North this year, I am making an extra special effort in the kitchen to recreate all our favorite holiday foods! I will let you all know what I've chosen to conquer next week :)

That's it from me today, just a quick post to apologize for my absence and let you all know, I am back with force this time! I've been busy working on a few blog related projects that I am very excited about and will share with you all very soon!

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for my mini haul post!


Until Next Time,








Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Home Management Binder Tutorial

What is a Home Management Binder? It may seem really obvious as to what a HMB is, but then again it may not....so let me fill you in. A HMB is a tool you can use to work to your absolute advantage. Really it's the ultimate organizer, a one stop place with everything you need to be completely organized on a daily, weekly, monthly and yes, yearly basis. 



Step 1: Choosing your categories


- Planner: This includes a calendar, both a monthly and yearly one. I also have a printout of all my usernames and passwords for all the different sites I regularly use. This way I avoid forgetting a password and being locked out...again.

- Important Dates: A great tool to help keep track of birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions that you really shouldn't forget!

- To-Do: Daily and Weekly dockets go in this section. Dockets are a great way of keeping your day productive and you on track with everything. You can create your very own, to include a to-do list, to-call list, to-clean list etc. all on the one piece of paper. I bought a little notebook from my supermarket, covered it with 30 cents contact paper and wa-la! A cute little book I can take with me on the go and jot down a list if need be.


- Cleaning: I love this tab! Not necessarily doing the cleaning, however I love how organized and stress free it can be thanks to this section! I have all my daily, weekly, monthly and semi-annual cleans on lists. This is a great tab for me especially now that I have a newborn and a toddler.

-Finances: This for me is an extremely important tab. I follow a very similar debt reduction plan to that of Dave Ramsey's which you can read about here. I included my debt reduction plan in this tab, along with our monthly and yearly expenses, our bill payment checklist and an automatic withdrawals spreadsheet are also in this section. I put all these sheets within a display book, so I am able to take it out of the binder for convenience when I need to pay bills or manage our budget on a fortnightly basis.

(I will put links for the printouts down the bottom of this post)

-Menu Planning: If you have children, or you REALLY want to save money on your food bill, then this is a fantastic tab to have! I put in this section: my weekly menu plan, my pantry/freezer and fridge inventory lists, food ideas (covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and my monthly menu plan. Like my finances, I have put my menu planning in a display book (which then goes into my binder) so I am able to take it out and generally to the shops for convenience.

-Contacts: Although I would rarely check anywhere but my Iphone for contacts, I still believe this is an important tab to have as I am able to jot down important numbers (such as Lily's preschool) and reference them quickly at my desk.

-Blogging: I LOVE this section! It helps me keep on track with this blog, now more than ever. I am trying to get a lot more consistent with my posts and their content, so having a blog ideas section, helps SO much!

-Medical: Now, more than ever we are making sure all our medical files are properly taken care of, and filed appropriately. You can customize an Excel spreadsheet to have: name, age, vaccination dates/names etc. I am planning on scanning and printing out copies of both of Lily and Jett's vaccination records along with any dental records they acquire etc.

Step 2: The Supplies Needed


 

I picked up everything I needed from Kmart and Target for under $30. The great thing of course is you may already have all of these items at home, tucked away in your office supplies.
You don't particularly need anything as you can completely customise even the binder itself to your wants and needs, however below is a list of items that I used to make my HMB.

-Binder:
-Plastic Sleeves
-Plastic Sleeved Display Book
-Post it notes
-White labels
-Coloured dots (for calendar use)
- Hole punch
-Coloured dividers
-46 pg notebook (for quick note jotting)



Step 3: Now for the Assembling!


This part is entirely up to you! I personally refer to my finance tab a lot so I keep that closer to the front, along with my menu planner (cooking section) so I can refer to this and my budget when making our grocery list/ menu plan for the fortnight.

Make sure the binders layout is going to work for you! Not just sit pretty on your desk.

 Customize it! Make it exciting to open! Add pictures or photos to the cover, cover the tabs in contact paper to give it more pa-zazz, this will make you feel more excited to be using your binder. Just remember, don't spend more time on making it look nice then actually making the binder relevant to you and your needs. 
  
Get inspired! Google! Get inspired by others who have gone before you and created their own personal home management binder. 

It may not be relevant to have a Home Management Binder! HMB's may not be for every household, so don't feel like if the binder system doesn't work for you then there's something wrong. Some people work just as efficiently with a notebook and pen or the system they already have in place

If you'd like any of the printouts I have spoken about, I have put the 2 links below to the sites I used:

MrsJanuary.com - This is where I got the majority of my printables from! Definitely worth a browse
Businessamongmoms.com - I'm not sure how I came across this site, but I got a great budget spreadsheet from here.

What do you think about the Home Management Binder? Would it work for you? I'd love to know, so leave me a comment below.


Until Next Time, 





LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover